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-- they can start to develop strategies. this is a critical foundation for community to make the decisions based on size. we have done ecological risk assessments in different locations in the country, starting about 15 years ago. we have not done one in the arctic yet. we were looking at doing one in the arctic. for a number of reasons, we have slow that process down. one being that we need more science. >> are you on a timetable to do that? >> we are on a timetable to move forward on that. >> thank you for being with us from the north slope. can you talk a little bit about the interaction you have had with shell and their plans to develop up there and whether the is use your raise in your testimony you have been able to address satisfactorily or if there are other issues you would
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like resolved before they proceed? >> thank you, commissioner. the overriding concern continues to be the possibility of an oil spill. [inaudible] our problem is the oil spill equipment and the technology has never been tested here in the arctic in real-life situations due to the rules of the united states. because there has never been any real exercise here in the arctic
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involving broken ice conditions and the recovery of oil. it is the burning that is being mentioned, the technology being used in warmer waters, it has never been done up here and that continues to be our concern. it is difficult to take the words of industry and agencies just that their words. that is the overriding condition. the least-sale provisions i mentioned earlier continue to be the focus for the lower 48 waters. the time frame for us to comment adequately is very, very short period that is an area that
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needs to be looked into also like losing program. >> thank you. there have been proposals that there be three years of baseline data before proceeding in frontier areas. could you just comment on whether that amount of baseline data is available in the arctic or how much work you would assess needs to be done in that area of? >> that amount of baseline data focused on ecosystem functions and that scale and dynamics of particular areas for activities is not available. some of the work being done seems appropriate and germane, but it has tended to be focused on the needs for the leasing and drilling process, how the system
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works, the resources that are most important to coastal villages and how they are distributed and how those dynamics operate. the last serious, sustained research program was 30 years ago on the outer continental shelf, the environmental assessment program. it was very good, but it is hardly of to date now. the work shall has been doing is a good thing. the work others have been doing, we should be supportive of. the problem was, it is not tailored to answer the fundamental questions i have suggested and the mayor referred to. to deal with it, we see a three step -- let's see what -- let's see what the u.s. gap analysis shows. we think the council is the right one. it should do a focused gap analysis that leads into a research program. it does not have to be open-
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ended. it it needs to be focused on the key issues to answer those questions that the proper scale. ironically, the bp spill has shown a kind of model for how the right interest get brought to the table to really focus on what we need to know and that is coast guard, industry, university scientists, agency scientists have been driven together by this tragedy. out of that, has come a fairly useful model for how we need to move forward. the natural resource damage assessment and -- i know you'll be talking about this tomorrow -- it is an example of how those interests pressed together actually produce time results in a reasonable timeframe. but baseline data, not available, at least not current data, and that's important for
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two reasons. one is so that the decisions about oil and gas activities in the arctic goes better and if there is an accident, we have a basis for evaluating the damage. >> capt., you said the public expects the federal government to play a leading role in the film response. that has been borne out with the events in the gulf. what is going to take, how long is it going to take for you to feel comfortable while saying that in alaska, the federal government could play a leading role in the response? >> you raise a great question. i agree -- one of the other panelists says it's not just the coast guard that response out there.
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it's going to be a joint effort and industry has to have that baseline of capability in place in order to respond. the coast guard is designed so it can rapidly flow to a region. we have airlift and i feel we can respond when called. that is the coast guard's role, to be ready to respond. we have been doing a number of things in the past three years -- something called operation arctic crossroads which has been looking forward operating locations throughout the state. in 2008, we looked at barrow, in 2009, we looked at nome. we have been testing up there and we see how our c130s perform up there. we have tools and we are actively testing them to see how they perform. we also have the high latitude mission analysis study that we have completed and in its -- and
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as in the process of reviewing in the agency. we are moving forward, leaning forward pretty hard and working to get that infrastructure in place. >> but it is not in place yet and it will take some time. >> yes, sir. one thing about alaska is if you put anchorage and north slope on the u.s. east coast, you are talking about the distance from washington, d.c. to maine. if he took alaska east to west and put it in the lower 48, you are talking about the distance from washington, dc to los angeles. we're talking about huge distances and resources are a critical thing. >> the response capability and the deposal is that it is impressive. it goes on what we have seen from other companies -- goes beyond what we have seen from
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other companies. given what we have seen in the gulf, there is a higher standard and the public, regardless of how cable you might be, the public expects the federal government to play a leading role and, given the does not appear the federal government is ready to play that leading role in the event of a major spill in alaska, what do you say -- how the u.s. republic we are not taking and unnecessary risk -- how do you ensure the public we are not taking unnecessary risk? >> with all due respect, they have drilled with shell when we have drilled our equipment. they have indeed been involved in all this work from the beginning. "they have been instrumental in helping to design the plans. -- they have been instrumental in helping to design the plan. with the plan we saw in the gulf of mexico -- with between 5006 thousand vessels of opportunity.
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marietta would be unhappy with that. we have designed our response for operations within one hour and to contain the spill in the area so there is not a need to go beyond that particular base. we work in probably 50 other countries in enp. many of those countries have regulation and many do not. the fact there is not the coast guard there for the first few hours does not actually mean we would shy away from this development. we know the coastguard would be ready to come in and take their place at the center of the unified command structure. in the interim, we would marshall our assets to begin to contain the flow and begin the relief well and any other particular areas that would come. it is not significantly different from at their areas in which we work. understanding the public's expectation is one thing, but we
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have a responsibility to the public as well. we are asking for that measure of faith that we have a handle on what is going on in many other countries not blessed with resources we have in the u.s. >> would you care to respond? >> i think it is important not a response with dealing successfully with bill boyle, especially a very large spill. -- with ace -- dealing successfully with spilled oil. that is not to question the commitment or eighth of shell and certainly the response plans -- a list a substantial amount of equipment and commitment. i have no problem with that. the issue is what does it actually do in the field. if you have a major spill, you have the fundamental problem of going on -- going beyond just
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deploying and actually produce a recovery. in the exxon valdez spill, whenever people might say about exxon from a culpability standpoint, the reality is they committed a substantial amount of resources to the effort. what did we get? 10% of the oil? i submit we will get actually recovered less than 20% recovered in the gulf of mexico. the point is not that shell is doing a bad job of designing the plan, the point is what can we actually expect in a realistic results? that's the place where i submit we are not in position to handle the worst case. >> did you want to comment, mayor? did you want to comment on the last exchange?
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>> the comment that i had made -- it has been a least three years ago, when i said it was too much, too soon, too fast. that's a part of the dilemma we are facing appear because of the compressed windows we have been forced to deal with. we do not have a level of comfort -- because this is a frontier, this has never been done up here on this scale before, though i acknowledge prior offshore work has been done. i have eight points as policy points that i have been pointing
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out to as many people i can, not the least of which is a coastguard present oil spill recovery, but to get a little more specific, there is a lot of work at still needs to get done, but i want to qualify that with recognizing that we understand as u.s. citizens, the energy needs of the united states. we are just saying let's do this right this time around. att's the way, and i have this point. >> thank you. would you agree -- you called them world-class standards, that that should be the minimum for companies operating in the arctic? >> we believe we have set the standard in working with the mayor. he talked about lifting the bar and we believe we have done
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that. our commitment to build a containment system further exemplifies that. >> thank you. >> i have a question for the mayor. do you distinguish in your own opposition to offshore oil and gas on the north slope between the beaufort sea and the ceci see? t find one less acceptable than the other? -- to you find one less acceptable than the other? >> the differentiating. i would make is that a lot more science has been done on the beaufort side. virtually none on the other.
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our concern is that we don't have a baseline science to measure and the impending changes that may happen as a result of activity. i will use one specific example -- the bowhead whale migration route. the whales migration to the west goes right over the proposed area that is of the biggest interest out there. many don't know how animals are out there besides the whales. we have a pretty good count on the wales but we don't know how many walrus, how many bearded seal, how many ring seal, how much fish and, what are the currents. so a lack of information to make any good decisions is a
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differentiating point i would make. >> if you think about a scenario for alaska oil and gas development, and are cannot be opened up in the bush administration and will not be opened in the obama administration. development is currently being held up by a permit denial. there is some implication that there may be less promising oil there than previously had been thought. if there is a delay with respect to drilling, it looks like we are probably talking 15 or 20 years before there is serious oil. everything we know would suggest
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that the trans alaska pipeline will be rendered unusable. is that a reasonable scenario and is that base -- is that in acceptable one from the point of economic circumstances in alaska? >> the last part of your question is one that people in alaska need to address. let me say that with respect to what is acceptable economically -- led me say the national petroleum reserve with some exemptions -- that seems likely to go forward unless the industry chooses not to pursue
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the leases for their own reasons. that seems to be not to have been taken off the table, at least not by objection, but rather because of the choices industry makes for a variety of reasons most is to not have access to. there will certainly be continuing activity in leases already under production. we see that as a reality. something the industry is committed to and so are both the state and federal government. there'll be some onshore production. but i think it serves to get the question back words if we say the issue of whether to pursue exploration depends only on the economics, if that were the case, there would always be the choice to simply proceed. the economics of short-term need, whether it is the state of alaska's's flow of revenue and
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other benefits, or the issues of maintaining the trans alaska pipeline in the appropriate condition, all of those would trump the longer-term vulnerability of north slope village people and the functions of the ecosystem. the way to answer your question, and it is a fair question, as to say how much and how soon can we have the information to make no regrets choices? how can we get the benefits of this region from an energy standpoint? but to make those choices with real data that allows us -- >> -- >> of the mayor is right that beaufort has more information. the way to pursue that and
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determine the length of time is to finish the process and do what we are proposing -- that is to be finished in march, correct quaestor >> that's right. -- that is correct? >> that's right. a national research council review or anything put into place relatively quickly could be turned around in some months, i would guess the year. then, we need to come out of that is really targeted research, not everything has to run for decades. i'm not suggesting it should. it would be multi year to get a feeling for the entire round of seasonal conditions and the way this ecosystem's function.
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then you make your decisions and go forward. that is where the key is, getting the interests at the table and drive it together with the deadline. >> is between two and five years a reasonable number? >> that is reasonable. if you don't start for four years, you're talking about a different scenario. >> you are in the third year of your 10-year lease, correct? what is the status of a lease that is suspended indefinitely as is currently the case based on the secretary's decision? do you get an extension or do you have to reapply? >> we would have to have discussions with interior about that. >> meanwhile, you have to
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billion dollars trade >> we have more than3.75 invested on that. we are losing probably three- quarters of a million dollars a day on what that money could be returning. if i might, -- i am obviously in no position to argue about the volume of steady, but there has indeed been over a prologue. of time, certain things will be subject to change -- after a prolonged period of time, there have been over 5000 studies done and the problem has been and i do agree it has been difficult to synthesize what is out there and what is not. i think the minerals management service did a good job of working that. i do support where you are going in the gap analysis. i don't necessarily think it takes until march to do that,
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but it's a valid approach. i want to draw the commission's attention to the fact that there is a large body of work out there. >> any final words? you are on the scene up there. >> i just want to thank you on behalf of the farthest north citizens in the united states of america and encourage you to continue your thoughtful deliberations and appreciate that yet taken us into your consideration and given us this opportunity. >> we appreciate your very much participating in this conversation. and all of you, thank you for this very instruct -- very constructive exchange. the meeting is now adjourned and we will move to the public
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comment. >> can we have the public, enters come forward? -- the public, enters come forward half -- the public commenters come forward.
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>> said to we have a list of the public commenters, please? >> if you would please introduce yourself by name and your association and then you have three minutes starting with the young lady. >> i am with the sierra club. thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak today. last week, the sierra club
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brought a delegation of gulf coast residents impacted by the gulf spill to washington, d.c. this included sierra staff and volunteers working on the response and coastal business owners. the group met with the commission director and representatives of congress with a clear message that the bp oil disaster is not over. although the bp well may be capped, the gulf coast and its residents are still recovering from the disaster. with job losses in fishing and tourism and massive fish kill as oil finds its way onto our shores and ocean bottom. the environmental, economic, and social impacts from this spill will be felt for years to come. the gulf of mexico and affected coastal communities need assistance in recovery. funding these resources can come from clean water act penalties, creating a gulf coast fund, or penalties from the bp spills and
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going directly toward restoration projects and securing the immediate funding from a natural resource damage assessment project. we also support the creation of a permanent regional community council to guide recovery efforts and an insurer continued community-driven oversight of the offshore oil -- offshore oil industry. we must ensure full accountability by the oil industry. a portion of oil and gas industry profits should be directed toward ocean protection and restoration. long term funding can be provided for independent, pierre-reviewed science to sublet the lump -- federal and state research to obtain a full assessment of bp's incident on golf establishments. one of the s -- one of the individuals we brought was a third generation alabama fisherman. i know you were going to talk about this tomorrow, but he
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expressed concern about the seafood industry as fishing waters opened for the first time following the spill. the industry faces challenges ahead, i'm only to restore fishing stock but public perception about the safety of gulf seafood. the bp disaster reinforces the need to move america beyond oil independence for a cleaner, more sustainable energy future. the bp spill demonstrates there will be adverse economic and an arm of the outcomes as drilling continues. instead of more offshore drilling, we should be building a 20 for century transportation system in order to end our dependence on oil in the next 20 years. we can do this by investing in the kind of clean energy that will create jobs and infuse new life into our economy. thank you. >> [inaudible] >> kordick.
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>> representing the sierra. >> yes. >> i am the oceans advocate for environmental america and have worked extensively on offshore drilling for -- i want to discuss two things this afternoon -- how risky offshore drilling really is, the degree to which the work of this commission, the bureau of ocean energy management and congress and other bodies can help to improve the safety record and whether, with this level of improvement, expanded offshore drilling to the other coast makes sense. i would like to look at what is at stake economically patriate future economics of the bp skills -- spills should occur
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along other coast. the results are not trivial. 4500 deepwater wealth have been drilled in the gulf. on its face, it is a one in 4500 event, which is a far cry from one and a million event or a black swan -- two of the words or phrases that have been used to describe what happens in the gulf. it's a 200 times more likely than a one in a million event. from 2006-2009, the minerals management service recorded 21 losses -- built loss of well control preceded the deepwater horizon on the 20 as. that is not infrequent. given all of that, how big an improvement in odds of an offshore drilling catastrophe can we expect from the combined efforts from all of the entities working on oil spill reform? can we get an order of magnitude improvement that makes drilling
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10 times safer? is that achievable? i don't know. if we did that, there would still be one bp-sized skill for every 45,000 wells we drilled. i think that's too many. the scale of economic damage from spills can be very large. in addition to damaging the environment and the wild life, we now know large spills can be job and business killers. each person has a unique story. you have read about many of those stories and all very sad. using government data, we estimate from only coastal counties and only in the gulf, we estimate the value of tourism and fishing to be $39 billion per year. that's quite a lot of money. when a reputable economics consulting firm called oxford economics looks at the question of damages to the tourism business in the gulf from the bp
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skip -- from the bp spill, it makes sense of a calculated a damage of between $7.5 billion and $22 billion over 83 year timeframe. to make this real, let me point out that bp and the gulf claims facility have already paid out close to $1 billion in emergency payments. sometimes those are just cents on the dollar. what would we expect -- let me reach one conclusion -- this commission is trying to make offshore drilling safer. it is incumbent on this commission's part to advise the president about whether it can every safe enough to spread this practice to other coast. i submit it will not be. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> the good afternoon, commissioners. my name is richard gregg and i'm
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from the florida a&m university environmental sciences institute and center for environmental equity and justice. i am here sharing the thoughts and perspectives of the historically black colleges and universities, gulf coast sustainability public policy research consortium. as you know, low-income population and communities of color in the gulf coast region are this appropriately exposed to an array of environmental stressors. with the katrina and deepwater horizon disasters being accused examples of a pervasive situation. the consortium at dillard in reverse -- dillard university in new orleans and engage the naacp and federal agencies, community stakeholders in bp, we concluded that trust is an issue
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to the research agenda in the gulf, which you heard earlier today. community participatory models are critical to the sustainability and public policy research in the gulf. the impact of the oil spill and other environmental and health threats in the region must be addressed and serve as the objective and point of the research agenda. most affected communities are missing from the decision-making forms. you heard that earlier. institutions holding the trust and respect of the impacted communities must be prominently engaged in developing and executing the gulf research agenda. therefore, the consortium looks forward to working with you to ensure these issues are featured prominently in your recommendations. our report will be provided to you tomorrow. >> thank you. will that report identified the
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specific environmental justice issues you believe we should attend to. >> yes. >> good afternoon. i am speaking today on behalf of oceania, the largest international organization focused solely on an ocean conservation. as she and has been an opponent of offshore oil and gas drilling since long before the deepwater horizon drilling disaster. especially offshore drilling in those areas protected by a congressional moratorium until 2008. the deepwater horizon drilling disaster has exposed the danger of offshore drilling to our ocean ecosystems, coastal economy, and worker safety. it is time to recognize the risk of offshore drilling far outweighs any benefits. despite the oil industry's statements, events like this will happen again unless we act to prevent them.
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the deepwater horizon disaster is not an isolated incident. offshore oil drilling is extremely dangerous. for instance, since 2006, there have been at least 26 rig blowout, 513 fires or blowout, and 30 fatalities from offshore oil and gas activities in the gulf of mexico. as we can glean, safety measures and so-called fail-safe mechanisms can bail. when we do, we do not have the technology to stop ongoing will release, nor are we capable of effectively clean up. as a response to the oil spill, the obama administration issued a six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling. the administration has said it would not left this moratorium unless three criteria concerning drilling safety, containment, and spill response were met. even though the moratorium is set to expire on november 30th, the link improve these criteria have been met or that are fewer
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drilling can be done 100% safely -- or that offshore drilling can be done 100% safely. until that can be shown, we need to start thinking about getting our country off of oil and transition to a clean energy future. in our pursuit of energy independence, the oceans can be part of the solution. offshore wind development is the best, as viable substitution for offshore oil and gas drilling, especially on the east coast. the united states does not need to cling to the dirty jobs supplied by offshore drilling. we can create new clean energy jobs in areas like manufacturing, construction of a clean area -- clean energy technology and develop a clean energy manufacturing hub in the gulf region to transition workers to clean energy jobs so jobs from offshore oil drilling not the only option treat we can seize the moment to finally transition our country from a dirty energy passed to a clean energy future.
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what -- . thank you. >> thank you. >> good afternoon. i am the campaign a policy coordinator for advocates for environmental human-rights. our public interest law firm is dedicated to upholding the human right we all have, to live in a healthy environment. headquarters is in new orleans, louisiana. we hosted a meeting in new orleans that brought together the legal counsel of this very commission. and environmental justice advocates in the gulf region. at this meeting, we recommended a bigger is enforcement of sections 2704c of the oil pollution act in order to ensure full recovery from the bp oil
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disaster and to prevent further damage. in enacting the oil pollution act, congress made it very clear that it did not want to reward a at actor with a reliability cut. section 2407c provides five sections, and the number of which removes the statutory exceptions from the policy -- one of these exceptions involves a violation of applicable federal safety construction or operating regulation by a responsible party. it is clear from congressional testimony from people survived the bp oil rig explosion that bp needs this exception and likely others. federal regulations require periodic inspections of blog
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printer devices. but inspection of the blowout preventer of the deepwater horizon rig was years past due. however, no federal regulatory agency has issued an administrative enforcement order against bp for violating any other federal regulation. the people of the gulf coast deserve a determination right now by the government that bp is indeed liable for all the damages caused by its massive disaster. section 2704c also provides that a 42 regulators like epa and osha to establish precautionary measures in the removal of oil from the gulf of mexico at coastal areas. but instead of exercising his authority, the agencies have acquiesced to bp's refusal of
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their initial request for reducing the use of toxic will dispersants and providing protective gear to people involved in oil removal work. the authority must be exercised to protect the health of people involved in oil cleanup and containment work as well as environment. we urge you, the commission to call for the issuance of this federal agency administrative enforcement order against bp which would establish the full liability against this company for all the damages, the gulf region, and call on epa and osha to ensure safety precautions in the oil removal work that are protective of people and the environment. thank you. i could leave my statement for the record. >> thank you. >> thank you. distinguished members of this commission, we appreciate your extra time to hear public comment. i am addressing [unintelligible]
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the tribal council is proud of the work we have accomplished with the u.s. coast guard by supporting commenting on the gulf spill of national significance, tempera rulemaking by asking for government to government consultation to recommend means of the improvement to oil spill planning. we submitted -- i have attached a copy of the letter with the chairman's signature requesting government to government. through our continued pollution prevention and response work with the coast guard, the council understands there is no more qualified entity either federal, state, or local at the industry level to coordinate and respond to this bill of such magnitude as the gulf. we have experienced more than 3 million gallons of oil in are protected area of the pacific northwest.
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this has prompted us to create effective ocean and oil pollution policy with federal, state and local governments. through the state, trouble response program funding the council has put together an effective program with the washington state department of ecology and industry. the tribe would like to offer our policy efforts to include travel interests in oil pollution for other state and local governments as well as other tries to review. we have a history of commenting on coastguard and rulemaking from a treaty-tribe perspective. one of them verified washington's state's ability to -- [unintelligible] also, the tribe has become a voting member of region 10. from our perspective, gulf
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coast oil spill lessons learned, we're working with this guard district 13 to put together a fishing vessel spill response program. this will equip our tribal fishing fleet with response equipment appropriable for operating and train the fishing fleet to coastguard certification as a vessel opportunity. the navy region, northwest were grouped to determine the need to deploy navy sub selvage equipment. [unintelligible] this working group has convened in the northwest area committee. the main lesson from the spill we take is drill, drill, drill, which translates to us as drill in exercise area equipment and personnel office and in regulating all spill response
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authority and assets to drill together. this action we believe will [unintelligible] in a meaningful way in a way to determine the strength and weaknesses of the plan. in closing, i would like to thank admiral thad allen and district 13 for working with troubled governments pacific northwest. >> thank you. dan frazier. >> hon. members of the committee, if i -- as i mentioned last time, i think your effort in comparing the work that is going on with the nuclear industry is exactly on the right track. this morning, you mentioned bringing science back to the table. i have a proposal here i think will do just that in an area that has been overlooked.
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furthermore, it's an area that directly addresses one of the problems highlighted at the last meeting. how do the regulators keep up with such a fast-moving industry? the key to this is something called a probabilistic risk analysis which, while wash 1400 was the pioneer for this -- this risk analysis has been part of the nuclear industry now for the past 20 years. even today, they recognize they get a minimum of a 2-1 payback for every dollar they put into the analysis. if they're still getting that kind of payback after 20 years, you can't imagines how it is when you start to implement it. that has been one of the keys to the nuclear industry. i have been working with my team
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for the past two months and we have been looking at problematic risk analysis. the question is, could this be transitioned to the oil industry? if it could, would it be beneficial? my team has come up with the absolute answer of a resounding yes. not only from eight regulatory side of things, but the industry side. both can benefit. it's a double win. the probable risk analysis at the high bar. it provides an analysis that is verifiable, can be looked at by an independent entity as well as the regulators. they can compare side-by-side with what happens with the other rigs and come to a conclusion and start to share and disseminate best practices.
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the probabilistic risk analysis allows regulators to monitor and evaluate the new technologies as they come on line. when a new technology comes on, they have to put it together and see how this fits in with all the analysis that has been done so the regulator gets a hand to say here is how this fits into this scheme and here is the impact has on the risk. furthermore, i probabilistic risk analysis takes into account operational procedures. as such, it is unique in the ability to deal with the operational things that happen with other subcontractors. it is a relatively fast ramp up time for regulators to catch up. in securing the future safety, i am asking and we hope you would ask for this in the probable risk analysis in your report?
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>> thank you. i am here of representing the public land service coalition. the organization comprises the core network of 144 use, -- conservation, the student conservation which operates with young people in all 50 states. to ask you to include in your report a recommendation that would engage young people in the gulf states as part of the recovery effort. the best example i can give is the greater yellowstone recovery corps after the fires in 1998. our organization and others put 1500 people to work a immediately in a fire recovery efforts. we continue to know -- to do this kind of things. the one to some like ambulance chaser, but we continue to put young people work in recovery efforts, post-disaster, after fires, and so forth. the gulf states are particularly
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deficient in capacity for young people to serve but public in this fashion. there is a small corps in florida, and the texas, the state's in between have almost no capacity in this area. our organizations have the ability to engage in new development where there is opportunity. there is no question that there are young people ready, willing and able to serve. there is no question as to the need. the question is can the funding be made available through public agencies and private charities. currently, the we are the modern environment of the civilian conservation corps that operating in the great barely one-we're tenth of that size. there were hundreds of thousands of young man at that time that served in the depression era. this past year, there were 40,000 people served on our programs, men and women,
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equally 50%. about 70% public funding, 30% philanthropic or fee-for- service revenues. the young people, the organizations that the coalition represents has the capacity to do all of the youth service social service,, when young people don't have their diplomas -- we do not want to see a replication of the '60s federally-run program in this area of partnership. we think our organization is partnered with public agencies can do this and have a role to play in the gulf. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you for the opportunity to provide some public testimony. my name is earl comstock. i was the lead staffer for senator ted stevens on the pollution act of 1990, so it is
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interesting to get this process from the outside now. i'm also an attorney for the alaska eskimo whaling commission. i'm very involved in looking at the impact in possession -- in potential spills in the arctic. we have been tasked with protecting these resources, particularly the bowhead whale. at the primary source of food for the committees of the north slope and they spend a considerable amount of time each year working with industry on a collaborative process to try to work out mitigation measures to ensure oil industry operations do not adversely impact the subsistence hunt. what i want to observe is the macondo spill was a full test of the response provisions. i think you'll find that roughly they worked. a lot of the dissatisfaction you hear from folks is the fact -- this is the concern the mayor was pointing out, response, if you get to that stage, never is
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going to be adequate. if you have a problem in the case of a full-scale spill, where people's lives are disrupted, economies are disrupted, you were going to have a lot of problems. what i think gets overlooked in the discussion is there is a whole other part that we would frankly say you should focus more on trade that is prevention. there were double hulls, tanker escorts, drug-testing, all designed to prevent a repeat of what happened. by and large, i think those provisions worked. what is interesting is industry objected vigorously to all those provisions. there were too expensive or cannot be done. the reality is prevention is what is the most important thing government can do. you are in the position to impose requirements equally across industries. no one is disadvantage. they all operate under the same sense of -- same set of rules.
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the alaska eskimo whaling commission tries to be in its small way impost that same process. here are the measures all companies need to comply with. so you don't interfere but are subsistence hunt. we do rolling closures, time area closures of all to protect the subsistence hunt. i would urge you to take a hard look at what provide to measures could be imposed because that is what is important and that local communities cannot do. we don't have that power, but the government does. i hope you take a hard look at that. thank you. >> thank you. i think we have reached the end of the day. thank you for being here. we will resume tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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>> "the communicators" looks a communications policy with a discussion on strengthening the federal law which limits personal data collection. perspectives from the marketing industry and consumer groups tonight on c-span2. >> the c-span network -- we provide coverage of public affairs, nonfiction books, and american history. it's all available on television, radio, online and social media networking sites. by our content any time through this c-span video library. we take c-span on the road with our digital bus content vehicle,
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bringing resources to your community. it is washington your way -- c- span networks, now available in a million homes provided as a service to your community. >> our local content vehicles are traveling the country, visiting committees in congressional districts as we look at some of the most closely contested house races leading up to this november's midterm elections. >> the second congressional district in virginia is in the far southeast corner of the state. it takes in virginia beach, the largest city in virginia and parts of hampton and an area known as the eastern shore which is a couple of rural counties. it is primarily farming and touring -- farming and tourism areas. the dominant industries are the united states navy and tourism. the oceanfront, there's a
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vibrant tourism community with hotels. it is not as large as myrtle beach, but it is that type of community. the u.s. navy and related military enterprises is its largest business, i would say. this particular congressional race is of high interest to republicans and democrats. during his first campaign, the republicans tried to keep him in office and were not successful. since his election, he has been subject to a steady stream of bloggers and e-mail's aimed at reaching out to the media blasting all lost everything he does. because he is a freshman, legislative experts will tell you the best of times to unseat an incumbent is during the first term because they have not quite established themselves yet. the republicans want to take back the u.s. house of representatives and this is one of those districts where they see they can have it in to do that.
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>> i've left with two clear impressions. i am absolutely confident in the capabilities of both our military forces and our civilian forces to successfully run a counterinsurgency program in afghanistan. but by other impressions i am left with a very serious concern about the fact that's our success here is largely dependent on what happens on the other side of the border in pakistan, where our civilian and military forces are not really present. >> in thisyear's elections,, gia
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spot on the armed services committee, the veteran affairs committee, and the armed services committee. since he has won, he has been a moderate in congress. he voted for the stimulus plan and are the 2009, and also voted against what has been known as the tap-in-trade environmental legislation. he helped draft the federal budget yesterday -- last year. he drew some fire from the regrets on health care.
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his republican opponent has not run for office before, but he is actively involved in the republican party. he is a very strong donor. he has the resources to do it financially. he has backed many candidates with contributions. one of his friends is the republican governor of the state, who campaigned for him earlier in the bribery. he had to win a primary against five other candidates. he has been campaigning since about a year ago. he turned over his dealership to an executive in his company. that has been his job, to be on the campaign trail. he has spent some of his own significant wealth. he has contributed more than a million dollars in loans to his campaign and has said he will not be outspent by his opponent.
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>> we have a primary coming up in virginia beach. i had the privilege to go to the university and start a business in a recession. we laid down solid principles in our business of leadership, to show leadership by example and set an urban mind-set. that was the same principle cause me to found that little resort off the coast of north carolina. they have it all planned for you in the next three months. >> he is a conservative, both economically and on social issues. he opposes the health-care plan. he will join efforts to try to repeal it if he is elected. he is very much -- he would have
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the business community unleashed from a lot of regulations. he wants to lower taxes, particularly taxes on capital gains. he is a very strong supporter of the military and veterans' issues. the third canned it is kenny golden. he started out as a republican, he was running in the primary last june but dropped out much earlier to run as an independent candidate. before he was even a candidate, he had been head of the virginia beach branch of the republican party. he is running on his service record. he has decades of service in the u.s. navy. he has been very involved in local politics, knows a lot of people. he does not have a lot of campaign funds but is actively campaigning.
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he has a group of people working pretty hard for him. he is running full time for the office. he does not want to be a spoiler. he wants to win. his stepping away from the republican party has upset some republicans who feel he should back their candidate. by the same token, he has some of his own supporters, many of whom are republican, who fear he is right to run. >> i kept this because this is a republican symbol from south africa that my friends from south africa brought me back. this is the only vestige i kept. i did keep one of these. it is the poster we had made up
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for mccain/palin 2008. these were made up for $1 apiece. we had 1500 made up. within a couple of hours, they were gone. we actually won for mccain and palin here in virginia beach. that is all i keep. >> both parties would perceive this election as a message on president obama. president obama carry this tester during his campaign and it is his policies that are in the middle of this debate. even though glenn and i did not vote for the health care bill, people on the republican side are campaigning against it and want to use it against him. in some ways, it is used as a referendum on the president's policies. it may send a about obama chances in virginia in 2012.
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contentn's local vehicles are traveling the country, visiting congressional districts as we look at some of the most closely contested house races leading up to this november's midterm elections. for more information, go to c- >> president obama has a bill which sets up in london bond for small businesses. from the white house east room. >> the president of the united states. [applause] >> thank you. thank you, everybody. thank you so much. thank you.
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thank you so much. i am thrilled to be here. it is an exciting day. i want to begin by recognizing the members of congress who fought so hard to pass this bill on behalf of americans will businesses. a lot of work was involved in this. there are a few folks here on stage i want to make sure to acknowledge. first of all, my dear friend and my senator from the state of illinois, senator dick durbin [applause] . a champion for businesses in louisiana and around the country, senator mary land it is here.
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a champion for small businesses, senator maria cantwell of washington is here. and one of the deans of the senate is senator carl levin. from the house side, we have rep melissa been that, also my neighbor from illinois. and congressman al green from texas. we have a governor o'malley of maryland and somebody who has
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been working so hard on behalf of the great state of michigan. we are proud of what she has been doing because it is really hard work in michigan, frankly. governor gran home has done outstanding work and i want to acknowledge it. we have also got some mayors in the house. i am not sure if they are all here. derrick coleman of columbus, ohio -- eric coleman of columbus, ohio, the mayor of allentown, pennsylvania, and the
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mayor from pittsburg. give them all a big round of applause. [applause] finally, i want to thank members of my administration who are with us, including our small business administrator, such a terrific at the kit for small- business. please give her a big round of applause. and our treasury secretary, tim geithner. [applause] as well as one of my top economic advisers, and gene sperling, who worked so hard here. there he is back there.
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and most of all i want to thank and welcome all the small business members from across the country who have come to the signing of this bill, many of whom i have had a chance to meet. i have visited their facilities. i of seen everything from trucks to pizza to web sites to signs. we've talked about how essential it is that we got this bill done, that it was critical that we make things more available to entrepreneurs. today, after a long and tough fight, i am sending a small business jobs bill that does exactly that. [applause]
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good news. good news. this is important because small businesses produce most of the new jobs in this country. they are the anchors of our main street. they are part of the promise of america, the idea that if you have a dream and are willing to work hard you can succeed. that is what leads a worker to be a job and become her own boss. it is what compels an amateur chef to open a restaurant. it is the promise the has drawn millions to our shores and made our economy the and the of the world. yet along with the middle
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class, small businesses have borne the greatest brunt of this recession. they, you, were hit by a 1-2 punch. the downturn means people are spending less because there is less demand, and the financial crisis made it difficult for small businesses to get loans. when i took office, i put in place an economic plan to help small business. we were guided by a central idea that government cannot guarantee success, but it can knock down barriers, like the back of affordable credit. government cannot replace jobs that will replace the millions we lost in the recession, but it can't bring the initiative to small businesses to hire more people. that is why we have cut taxes for small businesses. we passed new tax credits for companies to hire unemployed
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workers, which has benefited people with us today like sharon washington. he is making use of this tax break after he hired six workers. mr. hertz runs a child-care center in virginia and has been able to add three more employees. we also increase the exemption on capital gains tax for small business investment to 75%. we passed a tax cut so companies could immediately right out expenses like new equipment. as part of proper form, 4 million small business owners could be eligible this year for a health care tax credit worth perhaps tens of thousands of dollars. our economic plan helped to free up credit, supporting over 70,000 new loans for small business. this includes some of the business owners who are here today.
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joe runs a pizzeria in seattle. i have not tasted his pizza, but he promises i am going to get some. we also waived fees on loans that help people make payments. we stabilize the financial system and helped get credit flowing again. the steps have made a real difference. but as far as we have come, everybody in this room understand the still have a long way to go. small businesses still face hardships. it is still too difficult for many credit or the small business owners to get loans. there is more we can do to help them grow and help them thrive. that is why i have been fighting for months to pass this jobs bill, the most significant step on behalf of our small businesses in more than a decade.
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once i sign it, there will be relief to small businesses across this country right away. first, on top of the eight tax breaks we have already passed, we are adding eight more, over $55 billion in tax relief in the next year. capital gains taxes will be completely eliminated for key investments in small businesses, providing capital to as many as 1 million small firms across america and honoring a promise i made as the canada. 4.5 million small businesses and individuals will be eligible to immediately write off more expenses. that may benefit ruth, who is opening another restaurant in alexandria, virginia. 2 million self-employed americans will be able to receive a new deduction for health insurance. we will be increasing the tax
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break for anyone looking to open up a business. that is a $10,000 deduction. it can help with discouraging startup costs. future prosperity depends on whether regreting an environment in which folks can take new ideas for products to market and generate new business. that is not just a challenge of government. it is a challenge that requires businesses, leaders, universities, and others across this country. the second thing this bill does is we are going to make more loans available to small business. right now, there is the waiting list for sba loans. these are people who are ready to hire or expand, who have been approved by their banks, who are waiting for this legislation to pass. when i sign this bill, their weight will be over.
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will be [applause] virtually every person on that list will receive the loan the need in a matter of weeks. several of the small business owners attending with me today are on this list, including tony. raise your hand, tony. tony is right here. with tawnies loan, he will be able to buy new office space and hire three people to do energy efficiency adjustments. terry, raise your hand. terry plans to use his loan to hire as many as five more people.
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nall and land moritz -- noel and glen morritz will be able to set up a repair shop for helicopters and hire four or five workers. company has a good problem. the have more work than they can accept. with this loan, he will be able to bring one or two new web programmers or designers to take on some new clients. these loans that will be freed up right away are more than doubling the most popular sba loans that have benefited business owners with us here today. with this bill, we will take other steps to promote lending, including our small-business lending fund to help businesses across this country. this bill will also encourage
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additional private sector lending through innovative efforts at the state level to promote small business and manufacturing. that has too often been constrained by state budget cuts. this law will do to big things. it is going to cut taxes. it is going to make more loans available for small business. it is a great victory for america's entrepreneurs. [applause] i have to admit i regret that this bill based on ideas from both democrats and republicans and drawing support from business groups, i regret that this was blocked for months by a vocal minority in the senate and that meaning leslie aa this relief. but i do want to thank to republican senators who fought to help pass this bill.
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obviously i want to thank all the democrats who worked so hard to get it passed. at this difficult time in our country, it is essential that we keep up the fight for every job, for every business, for every opportunity to strengthen the economy. that is what is being done on the state level by governors across the country. that is what is being done by the mayors who are here today. they are fighting to help start new businesses that can bring prosperity to their communities. we have to keep moving forward. that is why i fought so hard to pass this bill and envoy to continue to do everything in my power to help small businesses open up, higher, and expand. that is why the small business owners are standing with me today. i am inordinately plan -- inordinately proud to sign this bill into law. [applause]
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i am running out of letters. [laughter] there you go. it is done. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please remain seated until the president has departed. thank you.
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>> falling president obama's bill signing of small business legislation, several attendees
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spoke to reporters. this is about 10 minutes. >> jennifer grant haholm from michigan. a good piece of this comes from a program which allows our automotive suppliers to go to a bank and have access to loans that otherwise might not have had because of the crunch on credit. it allows them to be able to invest in machining, to diversify and move into areas like medical devices or alternative energy. the bottom line for michigan and for all of the states, and certainly for the businesses, is that this means jobs. michigan's program was very small and will now be significantly more robust. state programs will be able to create or maintain 11,000 jobs,
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$800 million worth of credits that will keep people employed in michigan and make business is stronger as the move to this difficult time. this is a great bill for us. hopefully it is a great bill for the people who are working for these businesses or will be working for these businesses. i am thrilled to be here and say thank you to the president for signing this bill that gives people opportunity. >> my name is stephen neal. i would like to think the president for the stimulus package as well as this bill. the stimulus bill helped my business maintain. had it not been for that, my business would not survive. now i have the opportunity to borrow money at a reasonable rate. i am very grateful that this bill came about and is done.
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>> i am in trucking retail and school buses. >> i am a small-business owner in silver spring, maryland. again, i would like to say thank you to the president and the administration because this bill is momentous. i will be hiring 20 or 22 individuals from all walks of life. these tax cuts will definitely benefit my company. we have been very fortunate to hire about 20 individuals over the summer and we hope to retain most of those individuals. obviously, this bill is making a huge difference to me as a professional business owner, as a much your -- as a mother, and to the employees i higher. >> i am out of columbia, maryland.
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we are a start up firm working in the intelligence community. with the passage of this bill, i would like to think the president. we will be able to maintain a needed working line of credit that will enable us to hire three to five people right away as soon as those funds are available to be released. >> i am al green, a member of congress from texas. i sit on the financial-services committee. i am proud to be a part of this great occasion. this president's persistence has made a difference. i assure you we would not have this legislation if it were not for this president and his hands on activities. this bill will not only help small businesses to get larger. it will also allow businesses that are in their infancy, persons who have ideas, who want to start businesses -- it will
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give them the opportunity to start businesses with those tax breaks. it is a great piece of legislation. i am proud to have been a part of working with it and i salute this president for what he is doing to help us create jobs across the bank and breadth of this company. god bless america and thank god for president barack obama. >> what do you say in the detroit area and maryland? is this helping minorities? how is this going to help minority business? >> i think it helps all businesses. in our state, we are very, very blessed to have a very robust minority business community.
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or minority development goal is a 25% goal. this year, we hit 24.82%. women-owned businesses and small businesses -- all of them have suffered because of this recession and all of them have a tremendous need for affordable loans, for credit and capital in order to hire, expand, and come through this recession and into an area of recovery. that helps all of our businesses. >> as you know, most of the minority businesses are small businesses. this piece of legislation obviously will provide opportunity for small businesses to acquire additional talent and to grow and to flourish. but there is something else i might mention. when we passed the franc-dodd
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bill, we included in it and office of minority and women. that is going to play a significant role in assisting minorities and women such that they will be a part of all of the progress they have made. these are difficult times for everyone and we want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to benefit. thank you. >> governor, can you explain more about that program with autos? >> it was a capital access program run by our michigan economic development corporation. the program is called the collateral support program for suppliers to diversify. essentially, for those suppliers who have collateral like machines that have depreciated and who otherwise might be more of a risk to financial institutions, it will allow for the bank to come to us
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with the customer and say, "i would give this person a loan but for the risk and depreciation of the collateral." it allows us to cap off the collateral. we make deposits into the bank on behalf of the company which we get back because it is not a loan, but it buys down the risk for the bank. what michigan will get is of the $1.50 trillion we will get about 80 of that. for every $1, we will see $10. that is being made available. >> in maryland, we have a similar program. we went from 5 million in that fund to 10 million in that fund. but we already had staff in place. we already had the program up
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and running. will be able to go to $33 million. we guarantee a small portion of that loan and that enables us to leverage another 10-to-one. >> the government% of guaranty is a to%? >> for sba? it fluctuates from 70% to 90%, depending on the program. >> many jobs are going overseas and many factories are going to india and china. what do you feel on jobs going outside? >> i think we need to focus on building up our own economy. i think we should not give tax breaks to american corporations that outsource jobs and send
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them overseas. we need to make investments in our small businesses. many to make it possible for our own innovators and entrepreneurs to succeed. this is tax breaks for entrepreneurs to retain jobs. it is about more capital to lend to small businesses to create jobs here in the united states. >> governor, how many loans are ready to be made now? how long will it take money to start getting out the door? >> i think we have a waiting list of banks who have loans they want to see complete. we had a state program which was kept out. this enables us to do that. as far as how many are on the waiting list, we have to get the word out. we had told people we had capped it. alone, the need is about a billion. it will not quite get us there,
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but we know it will be used quickly. >> thanks, everybody. >> the national commission on the deepwater horizon oil spill conducted its next series of meetings this week as it continued investigations into the gulf of mexico oil rig explosion. we will hear from [unintelligible] talking about the challenges louisiana still faces in the aftermath of the disaster. >> panel two will be decision making within the unified command. we have four participants. i will introduce them all. first, captain edwin stanton, sector commander, u.s. coast guard. second, commander suttles,
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bp/ third, richard harold. .william nungesser captain stanton? >> go >> ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to be here. shall i commence? sir, would you pull your microphone a little closer. >> yes, sir. shall i commence, sir? >> that's fine. >> good morning, chairman riley, senator graham and distinguished members of the commission, i appreciate very much the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss my role as the commander of secretary of new orleans and as the incident commander of the command post
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tactical control deepwater horizon oil spill response. i have 35 years of service in the coast guard. mostly in the field of emergency response. i'm also a new orleans native. and i spent most of my career in the gulf coast. and i have a very strong personal and familial attachment to and interest in protecting these waters and this coast. so i'm glad to have the opportunity to discuss my role in the deepwater horizon response with you today. i served as incident commander from april 25th to may 26th during the critical first months of the first response. upon assuming this role, i established several top priorities to ensure that our response activities in louisiana would be successful. the first priority, which is the first priority of the national contingency plan by the way, was the safety of responders. they carried out duties into
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establishing an aircraft system to ensure air assets operating in conguess air space were coordinated we also focused on methods for reducing heat stress by rotating personnel and ensuring that air quality was carefully monitored to protect workers and the public. we did not have a fatality or serious injury related directly to response operations in part because of our focus on safety. a second objective of the response was to ensure that ports in louisiana would not close. given the severe economic impacts that would have followed if our commercial maritime infrastructure were impacted i directed bp to monitor oil concentrations at the louisiana offshore oil port, established vessel cleaning stations at key port locations and instituted measures to keep all ports, the port of lower mississippi river including baton rouge to new orleans, the port, and the loop running throughout the
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discharge. no vessels diverted from any of those ports. and by the way, the port of new orleans in the lower mississippi is worth about $250 million a day in economic impact. also successful in this objective a key objective from the outset was to work closely with the parish presidents to ensure unity of effort while also working to address concerns or questions by local leadership and officials. the national contingency plan provides doctrine for skill response led by a federal, state and responsible party unified command that ensures all stakeholders needs are represented and acted upon. throughout the response i worked very closely with the 11 coastal parish presidents and mayors, most notably grand isle, plaquemine parish, jefferson parish. as a requirement of the national contingency plan, the coast guard in conjunction with our federal, state and local and nongovernmental partners must craft area contingency plans which become the basis for how
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we collectively respond to pollution incidents. these plans which are developed prior to an event are done so in concert with state and local officials all part of area planning committees and are exercised with the specific agencies and state and local entities that would normally respond to a spill. when the incident occurred, we activated the plan for louisiana as well as other potentially impacted states and working with the local partners, constructed incident action plans which enabled us to execute the strategies described in the plan. given the unprecedented scale and geographic extent of this response, we invited all of the potentially impacted parishes to provide us with updated plans to incorporate into the unified response effort. they each came to the incident command post where they met with experts and the staff who went over the parish plans and early in the response we came up with an updated blueprint informed by the jointly developed area contingency plan for boom installations in response to
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this event. in contending with logistical and supply constraints as part of this massive response we worked closely with local officials to both incorporate suggestions and heed advice they may have provided. these efforts led to response strategies such as using a vessel of opportunity fleet to install boom and skim oil. throughout the response, the coast guard through the icps made it a priority to communicate with local officials. in the case of icp houma it met close coordination with the state of louisiana as well as parishes directly. in houma we had a conference with representatives and we established liaison officers and liaison officers at the governor's office to serve as a direct conduit at its height the programmed 80 officers and senior enlisted personnel covering 11 parishes and approximately 13 counties across the gulf coast. it off constantly adapt to on
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scene conditions we established branches at parish emergency offices to bring the organization closer to the front lines. these were supported by large staging areas at several key locations along the coast. our response efforts included the louisiana national guard. the louisiana oil spill coordinator's office, the louisiana state police, the louisiana wildlife and fisheries department, the louisiana department of environmental quality. the governor's office of homeland security and preparedness. we did encounter many challenges with this unprecedented response but -- >> excuse me, captain, but would you please summarize. >> i'd say congratulations, mr. reilly, in my opinion it worked pretty well with all of the bumps and grinds and uglies at times. the people who study it and know it, knew pretty much what they were doing. the robust system of contractors. i'm very thankful for them and
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for the special teams that were created by the ncp and the national response system, navy, the national strike force, epa. all in all, i would call it a good -- a good if somewhat at times ugly response. >> thank you, captain. mr. doug suttles? >> thank you, commissioner graham. good morning. my name is doug suttles. i'm the chief operating officer for bp's exploration and production business. i was also bp's incident commander in unified area command through the majority of the spill. the deepwater horizon accident is a tragic event for so many dimensions. whether it's the tragic loss or the spills impact right across the people of the gulf coast. ...
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we have shared this document widely both in the united states and internationally. the items are also covered in this report. i want to thank the commission for the opportunity to join you today. i will share my thoughts of some of the key lessons from my perspective in the areas of the structure and process, technology and innovation, and communications. a spell of this significance will necessarily involve many stakeholders, who must be integrated into the decision process and response. >> as i understand it, that is the intent behind the command. this one team, one process process, unity of effort concept is critical given the number of stakeholders and responders involved in a major spill.
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given that this was, i believe, the first time unified area command has been used in a spill, overall i believe it worked well. but as was clear throughout the response, i'll oil spill response is local. and this is one area where the processes can be improved. in particular, incorporating local government. in addition it is critical all responders are trained in some way with unified command and the icf structure. working with the coast guard, we implemented a branch structure which proved to be a good improvement in involving local government and speaking of response time. innovation technology played a very important role in fighting this spill. whether it is represented by the opening close containment systems developed and applied 5000 feet of water, the use of the very latest consenting technology to locate and characterize oil on the water, or the development of purpose built beach clean machines, new equipment processes developed
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during this spill made a significant difference to the response. we learned it was crucial to provide space and support to front-line responders so that they can innovate and work successful more rapidly. in addition, experts from across government and industry combined their knowledge and expertise to fight this spill. i do not believe that any single one entity could have responded. looking forward, we need to encourage continued investments spill response technology and develop this technology through a partnership between industry and government. finally, this spill occurred in an era of amazing information technology, the internet, 24 hour news and social media. the very latest information technologies proved critical to enabling a response involving almost 48,000 people and over 7000 vessels to work off a common operating problem. in addition we now live in a time where instant access information is an expectation.
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collecting and disseminating this information create a challenge across many fronts. future responses should anticipate this demand and take advantage of the technologies and processes that were established. today, we have capabilities that were not in place on the 20th of april. these include immunity deployable containment systems, technologies that can effectively locate and characterize oil on water, improve cleanup equipment and an enormous amount of experience. were determined to capture and share this capability with industry and government around the world, and to extend this capability in the future. thank you. >> thank you, mr. suttles. mr. richard harrell. >> thank you for this opportunity. i'm from mississippi, and we started a little different. appreciate the opportunity to speak your, and want to say i think sector mobile worked fairly effectively.
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john putnam, keith, florida, bill woods, alabama, and myself. chris russell, epa, delight, i think we are pretty effective team there, communication was well. frustration with timely plans was one of our issues. there were duplicate layers of review, rotating staff with the contractors cost us some grief in having to re- educate several cases, restart the process because of lack of situational awareness, was one of the issues. second point i have was brought up several times already, but it was unified command versus decision-makers on the ground. that became an issue throughout the process. unified command did a good job of managing overall logistics and operations, but could have
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done better disseminating information and providing decision-makers in the affected area. as you've heard before, all disasters are local. it was a big challenge of explaining the differences between the stafford act. you've heard that before. i can't really that enough that i don't know if it needs be changed or more education, might be a solution as well, the differences between the law. again, bp learned from this, and signed a mississippi person, high level person in mississippi. when that happened, late in june, the flow of information and the turnaround time on decisions significantly improve. the coast guard did the same thing very shortly thereafter with a deputy received a sign to mississippi, and again improved communication between the state and unified command. the third point i have is incorporating lessons learned.
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i hope these adjustments, like above, and others did not strictly fit the area contingency plan or the icf model, were effective, can be incorporated into a cd or ncp. and future events. coordination with state assets, local assets a big issue. our national guard came in, the city guard came in and chose to be affected in and helping control operations and tactical control. especially with that, no talk about more later. admiral allen made a point, 2002 was the last big exercise for the gulf region. you look at the amount of production in the gulf, it is that effective timeframe eight years ago. i think there need to be more shared joint exercises like we have in the gulf region with hurricanes and terrorism's. billy can probably say, but we have a major hurricane exercise
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every year in mississippi. we have a gulf wide one general every year meeting of hurricane disaster and preparedness. i think there needs to be something along those lines for oil spill's. which is a great asset to our country and just needs to be a way for local assets. the next point i have is the national contingency plan. i think needs to be a little more flexible when releasing assets, schemas in particular to an effective area, holding back in case there's a spill somewhere else when you know they are need any particular area was a problem to me. i think they could've gotten there faster, could have been released sooner to the area. i think you need to revise what the needs for the gulf and the local area contingency plans with the current production in the gulf. more flexibility for state and local input and the national contingency plan in area contingency plan.
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more involvement of states in response is key decision and the last newberger for of course is improved technologies for oil spill response. provide some funding, continued funding for the gulf states for oil spill readiness, their sharing of the mineral these profits or some other mechanism. down to 30 seconds. what went well? i think in the sector mobile shoreline response cleanup operations went well. we responded to the oil that got on the beaches i think it effectively, timely, quickly, what needs improvement? nearshore operation. the skimming, surveillance and a clear plan for tactical control. thank you, commissioner. >> thank you very much, mr. harrell. mr. nungesser. >> thank you very much. if you'll allow me i will skip and just put a bunch of things out of my speech to get it all out. i did provide you with a booklet with everything in there. first of all, there is a group,
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msrc, emergency response corporation, that was set up after the exxon spill. in lake charles they used to brag, they had enough boom to go to california and back. it was set out. i was there when they responded to an oil spill. got 95% of the oil before it hit open water. it had no boom, no equipment for this response. the stuff they brought to my peers sat on trailers for months. why? did congress lets them off the hook? did the oil company stop of all, i don't know. but we must look at why that effect was so effective in have an oil spill drill monthly, yearly, quarterly, that i was involved in, i was in the oil fields before i ran for public office. but we must look into why that failed, why they were allowed to not keep up their assets, their training, the things that were in place before this tragedy. on my first flight with captain
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stanton, to view the area after the oil spill, i was very disturbed to learn that there was no plan to keep it out of the marsh. captain stanton and aye said don't worry, president, none guessed it, we're going to be to help you clean up your march. i asked him to land a chopper. i said we're not going to clean it up. we must keep it out of the marsh. there was no plan to end, and there is no plan now. had it not been for president obama's visit to plaquemines parish, we would not have got approval for the jack-up boats that were on the front line. and to this day, are still picking up more oil than anybody else. last week they picked up 8000 gallons of oil. i'm not sure everyone wants to know what's going on right now. they don't want to bring the oil in that they don't want is to identify it. i'm passionate here today because this -- sitting here before you today, and i know we've come to the table and sat at the table, i stayed off tv. but sitting here today, i still
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can't tell you who's in charge. when we talk about putting coast guard people, and i applaud the men and women of coast guard, that this was a disaster from the way it was handled from day one. we had coast guard people sitting in my office that couldn't make a decision, has never made a decision, and to this day, plaquemines parish which has more coastline, more oil in the marsh than any other parish or any other area, has yet to receive its first foot of ocean bloom. we laid out a plan to keep it out of the marsh, to keep it out of the oyster beds, out of the ground. the first foot has never been deployed. so although i stayed off tv, i am still angry. that we are talking about the success of things that have happened. the burbs that were decided not to be done by a group of washington staffers i took a
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boat to grant that i wasn't invited and guiding to see the president and he sent a group back down to a roundtable discussion the way it should've been from day one. we should have a seat at the table. then the burbs were approved and they are picking up oil. just this week. we got oil off and it is a lot easy to clean off the beaches and you've seen in the marsh. but here, this late in again, i still can't tell you who's in charge. the men and women of coast guard do a great job. they are firemen. they go out and put out the fire and rescue. here we are asking them to get the house and rebuild it. that system doesn't work. just like the corps of engineers in the levy. they come down and tells what they're going to do with our levees. yet we keep having problems. we've got to change the system in america to where we spend our money the best way it can be spent. out of the 5000 men and women that would respond with a coast guard, not one of them has oil on their shirt. did we really do anything there
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to help prevent the wildlife from dying, the marshes from being destroyed? i haven't seen it. i haven't seen anything with the benefit of the response of this disaster. so we've got to relook at the whole system, if we're ever going to respond in a fair way. in a way that we will clean up the marsh and keep the thousands of animals from dying. and affecting our line. plaquemines parish is the number one producer of oil and gas in louisiana. we're also number one in crabbing invoices. we want our oilfield. and there's a way to work together. but the passion is because early on, have the president not come down and demanded the coast guard put a jack of that are still at the picking up water, business would've been far greater impact. and i will tell you today, the men and women out of the jack-up boats, local fishermen, go out and night and pick up oil. in my opinion, have done more to
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prevent oil and continued to pick up oil, then all the subcontractors that are in my parish with skimmers on trailers and booms sitting on trailers. so, we need to retool this whole thing. thank you very much. >> thank you, and thank you to each of the members of this panel. commissioners to? thank you. i have one question and one question for doug suttles. president, as a former mayor myself, i can really relate to the importance of local people having a seat at the table and the frustration that people have if they don't see their local elected officials actually getting engaged. but clearly, for an incident of this scale, it wouldn't be possible for everybody at the moment of the incident at all of the local levels to really be in charge. so it seems to me you have to
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back up into the planning process in a way that prepares people ahead of time. and i know you do that four hurricanes. so here's my question. how could we, for the future, not so much for the current or for the past, or effectively involve local state federal people in the process of preparing for incidents, both from the standpoint of the plan, but also from the standpoint of the practicing. i would just give you an incident from alaska. this summer we at 1200 fishermen in alaska, once again, attended the training program for how they could use their fishing vessels for an incident in alaska. its ongoing. i don't think that kind of thing has been happening. i could be wrong in the gulf, but i would really like to hear about that more effective engagement at the front end so that people already and know each other and can tee mccabe
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effectively. >> absolutely. i think some regional meetings and responds, we've had great plans with doug and bp of others going for. i think all around america on the coastal for anything that happened we need to have that working together attitude. and you're exactly right. on the ground early on, a seat at the table instead of the finger point. and we could've done so much more, so much quicker. and that's what's frustrating today is i didn't have all the answers but no one had a plan. and so when we put a plan in front of them, and as the president said, if you don't have a better plan, put the jack-up boats out and to get a better plan so the sense of urgency has to be on the ground with someone in charge, fully in charge on the ground there. not in washington. you've got to be there, feel it, touch it, see what it's doing, and be able to make a decision. and it didn't happen.
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>> doug, you've served both in alaska and in the gulf of mexico now. and i wonder if you could just think through the differences that might give us some guidance about how to do things better in the future. everything from the regional citizens advisory council to rca sees that work in alaska on an ongoing basis to kind of hold your feet to the fire in the planning process in the preparation process, the extent to which the industry actually helps pay for citizen involvement in a way that seems to be much more effective in principle and sound than from what i gather has been happening in the gulf. and i wonder if you could just comment on that a little bit and also address the question of how the industry and the federal government can execute the kind of our and the work on this spill responds that you reference because you know, after the exxon valdez there was a little bit of that investment
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at first when people had in their minds, how do we assure that? doesn't require some sort of, i hate use the word attack, but some sort of attacks a you've got the funding mechanism to assure that kind of r&d? i don't think we can just assume people will do it out of the goodness of their heart. >> well, commissioner omer, first on the local issues and comparison between alaska and the gulf spill. first we should say the local communities and the local citizens were critical element to the response. i'll give you a small example of this is that the local fishermen know the current, they know the waters. they know where the floats will wash up on the shore and they knew that spyware the oil would arrive. so in betting them in the response was crucial. and as we went to the response, moving to this structure where you could put more local control in, yet still make sure you are
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a appropriately allocating resources across the entire spill, i think proved to work. i personally believe that should be embedded in the structure going for because it was a way to better connect locally, and it was a way to speed up the timeliness of the response, and it was way to make sure that local ideas, that could improve the plan and it improve the response could be embedded. a particular area ended up being the vessels of opportunity. i think at the peak we had almost 5800, over 5800 vessels of opportunity here. this is something that has been crafted in alaska for very long time. i think is you are where they participate in drills, and you referenced that early. i believe this is an important part of the response. some people viewed it initially as a way to try to offset some of the economic impact of this spill. i believe though that they were critical. early on they were performed
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logistic functions moving equipment around, maybe collecting wildlife that have been infected by this spill. but by the end they were laying boom, they were actually skimming oil. they were directly involved in the frontline of the response. and i think it proved to be effective. that should be embedded into two responses and should be a part of future drills, including training and mobilizing these people as part of the drills. if i move to r&d for a moment, one of the things we learned during this spill, when we needed the very best equipment, the very, very best equipment of spill response, we went to norway. consistently through the response we went to norway. norway has consistently invested in r&d and spill response technology. i think there's a clear connection. i agree entirely with you that industry and government need to work together to advance this. as we are working with others and industry, and both contain the capability and and spill response capability, we've been talking about we need to create a framework and a structure
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which will ensure that r&d happens, and i think as you can see through the response of the involvement of the government, particularly on the contain aside, it's important to partner with national labs in that process. because i think we did see where the government brought many things to the table technically. but their lack of familiarity with much of what's happening in the deepwater today decrease limitations as well. so by partnering with things like lack national laboratories ended up in technology will be a way to bridge that gap. >> any thoughts about how to fund it? >> i don't have direct thoughts on that. i believe we need to find efficient mechanism to do. i think the discussions in the industry right now around containment involved commitment from the industry to fund technology around containment. the vehicles yet though i'm not aware of. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you.
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further questions? >> mr. suttles -- thank you. i've two questions questions following up on the comment and r&d. i think one thing that surprised the public was that the response technologies have not advanced literally at all since the exxon valdez spill. so you're a large investigative company operating worldwide. explain to us why it wouldn't be, the company's responsibility, as well as the governments to have ongoing investment in developing these technologies. i mean, obviously because of this scale of this spill we're going to do that going forward, but what has happened over the last 20 years that your company hasn't felt that it's within their responsibility to be developing those technologies? >> commissioner, it's difficult for me to look back and fully understand that. i think i agree with the comments made by admiral allen earlier, that there has been tremendous amount of investment in these widely in this space
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over the last several decades. it's hard for me to understand exactly why that is. i actually believe though going forward it's critical that it occur, and as i said come in places where it has occurred it has advanced the technology capability. but i think it's also some of the opening comments, it was frustrating at times with the sheer scale of the effort here, and that it couldn't have any more impact than it had. 48,000 people deployed at the peak. just unprecedented response, but some of the tools and techniques available to us with the same ones available 20 years ago, and i think that needs to change for the future. >> thank you. what additional question. admiral allen spoke specifically to the role of the responsible party and the public's perception that vb was very much in charge, even though there is this whole command structure. and he recommended consideration of changes and how that should be structured. what's your response, your
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reaction, having been on the scene as a responsible party over the last many months of? >> well, from being an integral part of this, it was always clear to me that coast guard was in charge. was running this spill. and directing the activities. but as the admiral also pointed out, that the framework that laid out by the national plan and open 90 has as play a critical role in sight of that. and i think as i said earlier, the scale of this was a large i don't believe anyone really could have led the response. but i also clear he felt the concern, the frustration in the sense of doubt that was in the public about were we doing the right things and were we doing from the right, but i can issue at all times the coast guard was in charge. >> commissioner murray? >> i have a question for mr. harrell.
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and any of the others that want to answer. and this is about how the national incident command actually worked in this case, which was way larger than previous exercises. and during this event, all of the states declared state of emergency. this was outside the national incident command. how did that work? they were trying to find out who was in control, and it seemed like there was a lot of confusion. how could this be better in the future? and, what happened, for example, in mississippi? >> okay. thank you. i think admiral allen said it
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national incident command did try to manage technical resources, did try to alleviate political pressures. they did not try to micromanage it, it appeared to me, from mobile. i think they let operations run as they did effectively for the most part. the state of mississippi declared an emergency mainly i think to facilitate communications and be able to bring certain assets, state assets into play, such as the national guard, our mississippi emergency management agency, the county bocs to assure that they had some funding early on, so they could staff up and be able to have their regular meetings just like they do, and gather information and disseminate information. more information is better, that could've been improved. i think one of the biggest issues that also could have been improved was managing
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expectations. whether that's the education of open 90, but for instance, we had volunteers signed up. with 3000 volunteers signed up who could not use them effectively because of the laws of some of the other plays that came in, other laws that come into play. would have to switchers and those type of issues. so i think managing expectations all around was a huge issue for us. managing it to the local, our county board of supervisors, similar to the parishes in louisiana about what was going on, what was their will, how could they contribute, and those factors i think were a huge issue for us. and that was the main reason i think the state of emergency. there was an uncertainty about what was going on. try to alleviate that to communications. >> mr. nungesser? >> the answer to the man said, adding have to go through there. and just like when we ask the ocean boom that we never got, we never got a yes or a no.
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we just kept waiting and waiting. and our neighbor in jackson parish where ocean boom was being made and shipped to other states, we called them and say have you got the order yet for plaquemines parish? because we couldn't get an answer. bp would say it was the coast guard that the coast guard would say it was bp. and it became a joke in our eoc that the home of command was the "wizard of oz." some guy got a curtain, because we never got any. we never got a person in charge that we could call and say hey, are we going to get it or not? and it just never came. and the frustrating thing was, not knowing. if you're not going to do it, say no and let's go in another direction. or tell us why. and that continue to happen. i've got a stack of to 13th for response, skimmers that actually worked. most of the skimmers in my parish state on a treasure because they were not capable of picking up. they didn't work, the drum skimmers, a lot of the equipment
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never win in the water. so when we looked at the number of equipment that responded, that's kind of a false number because they never actually went and did the -- water to pick up oil. and that's a false sense of security for everybody. and we have the 700 skimmers available because they never were in plaquemines parish. >> commissioner boesch? >> yes. is to recitals, i will direct a question to first, i'll ask the other panel just to comment on it. at one point, i think which is discussed the frustration concerned about local engageme engagement, admiral allen mentioned it and everyone on this panel mentioned it as well. early in the process in early may, bp made the decision to actually provide some funding directly to the government to deal with the oil spill response. at one point of view, this was dealing with a need that has
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been expressed. it's also been alleged though that it actually led to the president that bp was in charge of the response rather than the government. number one. and and secondly, it's also been alleged that its cost duplication of efforts and confusion of how to coordinate this. i wonder if you could tell us what your basis of that decision and you're a analysis of how successful it was, and what role in the future, a responsible party you might want to help, response to be effective. >> yes, commissioner. i mean, from the very outset of this spill, as we hit the ground, one of the things we ran into was katrina, since katrina, everywhere we went was katrina. concern about the response to katrina and this response be the same. in state and local government concern was raised to us that they were already beginning to end her costs. some of these three simple things like standing up eocs,
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emergency operations there is and police officers providing traffic control, to more sophisticated items. and they believe that maybe in the past they have never been compensated for this and they were expressing concern to us that the response may be inhibited by concerns about funding and reimbursement for their costs. so we ask what could we do about that through these discussions, care about this concept we will give you the money up front. we were paying for the cost of this spill right from the beginning. so we said why do we alleviate that concern from the very beginning, and we will give you this grant and place. there was a civil contract of doing it ourselves and the original grants with the state. not with the local government but with the states. and they state it very simply that they were to be used for response costs. they need to keep records and somewhat weird, look at those records if we so choose. it was never do anything but
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that, but ensure that we mounted the best response possible. later on, we heard from some parish governments that they were having the same issues, that they were having in turn cause as well. and some of these governments do not have large budgets. so once again, we may grant at those levels. these were modest grace. these will between half a million and $1 million. >> captain stanton, mr. harrell, anything on the effectiveness of the? >> it was a great effort on bp's part because it helped us cover overtime expense for our emergency people. it put extra lighting on the highway. we purchased limestone to reduce some roads to get bp better access to the waterways. and we spray for misuse, which which is a big problem. >> you didn't buy your own boom? >> right, we put ask of our out there to accommodate the 5000 plus personnel in our parish. and bp stepped up to the plate and funded that so we could help better have our parish employees
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and some extra assets to respond directly to help them do their job. >> mr. nungesser, you in the brief time you had, you mentioned the feelings you had about protection of the marsh and your proposal and ideas developed about the verb construction. and i'd like to get a little time to talk about that, but also to think about it from the standpoint of not what went on in past but what is going on now into the future. you're aware that there were lots of controversies that worried about the fact is, you know, the side effects of the berm constructions within science, within federal agencies and the like. but now we are at a point where there is still out there, as you know. it's in your parish, that seems to be we mobilize local sources rather than coming up, you know, in large quantity from the ocean. so the point is, as we sit now, what's the rationale for
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completing or continuing the authorized burns? and how does it help you in the long run? >> we continue to pick up talk all along those burns, and on the long run, it's going, in my opinion, be the beginning of the largest coastal restoration project in the history. and plaquemines parish, three and half years ago, spent several million dollars partnering with the corps of engineers to develop a three-part plan. the third part of the plan is restoring the islands where the burden is now. but it was 18 feet high, 3000 feet wide. was out there 100 years ago. we scaled that back to give us a fighting chance against minimal sized storm this year that could keep out of people's backyards. and the president stepped up and got that project going. when i handed the package to the president in grand isle, we deployed every dredged that we could get in america, they
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could've done in about half the time. the sixth toughest regions were approved, and bp has approved to find the rest of the project. but this is something about long-term we all talk about protecting wetlands. and there's always going to be negative consequences for anything we do. but putting back something that was there 100 years can't be all bad. because if we left the naysayers come it might, could, maybe. and for the epa to weigh in and said it might cost negative effects, we hired a scientist. we spent our own local money because we know without those berms, without the coastal plains, we can't build levees and flood walls high enough. and to throw rocks from washington, d.c., at a planned that a federal government, local government invested millions of dollars in an hired scientist, is not fair. show me the data and the negative effects. let's sit at the table and work out those things. but for people to keep making
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comments, destroys the morale of the local people. who have worked their life. we know, without that, we are finished. we are finished. if we don't start getting serious about coastal restoration, we won't have to worry about drilling. the guidelines coming to shores will be protected. we fighters in my parish will be able to survive. so we need to get on the same page and quit making comments, might, should, maybe. show me the data. they're all going to be titled change. there were 100 years ago. but what is the alternative to that? the saltwater destroy the marsh up to the city of new orleans? let's get on the same team and not make those comments without having the data. we hire our own scientists that fully support our three-point plan, which as a matter of fact, we will dredge in january to start our plan behind our back levies and move out to these berms which is the third phase. >> so, from the point you made,
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they seem to all related to long-term coastal restoration objectives. so is it time to integrate the issues of berms into the comprehensive restoration effort rather than seeing them as a guard against the oil spill? >> well, i think they still are picking up some oil. it's going to be, for bp and somewhat out of my a great, to decide whether they stop or not. i don't think so. i think we started the project. we finish it. six-foot, 100 with my people, why, to me is not the end of building the island. we're going to use local money, whatever it takes, and add to them. because they were there when it years ago. it can't be all that bad. so my vote would be to continue them, finish the project we started. if you remember, we talked about emergency permit that the corps of engineers always takes a lifetime to decide anything. delayed for over 30 days.
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so we would have had a lot more done, a lot more oil said, a lot more wildlife habit us into that word of urgency early on. >> thank you. >> commissioner garcia? >> i think happened -- >> i'm sorry spent i just want to respond to the question into question mr. riley had asked of admiral allen earlier, concerning i think the question was should fema have been in charge. we keep talking about stafford act versus national contingency plan. i just wanted to make one technical observation. when stafford act isn't old -- is invoked, which fema drags to be handled at the request of the state local governments, the national contingency plan actually becomes the operating mechanism for emergency support function 10, which is oil and hazardous materials response and epa usually epa, sometimes the
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coast guard, the leak mission coordinators for that nation. so when you have a stafford act declaration of, involves oil and hazardous chemicals, like katrina, as we say, it becomes a part of that family of plans, supports that stafford act. so just because you stafford act and fema, in cp doesn't go away. thank you. >> commissioner garcia? >> captain stanton, axa, captain stanton and mr. suttles, i'll ask you the same question i asked admiral allen a moment ago. be the low flow rate estimates and the changing flow rate estimates impact in any way the response actions that were taken? captain? >> in my opinion, no. my personal strategy towards spills, even at 1000 barrels a
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day, that's a medium oil spill into the gulf every single day, and a major oil spill every three days. so, and my personal philosophy is it is like a war and you have to respond with everything you have, overwhelmingly. and then, and i call this the time directive after admiral cotton was our, not, bring everything you have. if you find you don't need it, you can always be mobilized. and my observation, that's exactly what was done here. on my part, i ordered in every single federal response resource in the continental united states and even some from alaska. and when we didn't have enough, i asked bp to look elsewhere. they probably already were, and mr. suttles has already referred to going to norway for the no fee boom, some of the best stuff available. when we asked to do burning,
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they brought in the best people in the business. we did have a lack of fire them, and in my opinion, i share president nungesser's frustration that there really was not enough ocean boomed in the inventory nationally. but, no. the fact that estimate was a thousand barrels a day, no, sir. didn't impact what i was doing. >> anything down the line? >> no, sir. >> mr. suttles? >> commissioner garcia. along the coast guard and others, we all drill in emergency response. one of the concepts you are taught quite early on is overreact. and captain stanton just mentioned as. so you throw everything in, and you can always pull back. the last thing you want to do is not do enough are you. and that was the approach from this spill from the outset. we literally, threw everything at and kept getting. in fact, i'm one of the things i would hope we don't lose that we learned how to do in this spill, we had a new spill every day and
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a significant new spill every day, and that happened for 85 straight days. and early on we tapped into all the resources that were in stockpiles, not only in the united states but around the world. we flew fire boom in from algeria. hard them in from china. from alaska, from all over the world. but we didn't build supply chains which could manufacture the stuff continually. and by the late days of this spill, we had these change running where they could essentially run indefinitely. we could continue to feed supplies and equipment into this indefinitely. and i think we shouldn't lose that, because it was not a normal part of this spill responds. >> i gather that there was some disagreements between the federal responders and the state of louisiana. just reading between the lines what mr. nungesser was saying. i'd like to pursue the boom issue for a minute. mr. nungesser made a statement
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that captain stanton told him that there was no plan to keep oil out of the marshes, is that correct? >> what he told me on the flight was who's going to help us clean it up after he got them. and we said we've got to keep it out. you won't clean up the mars, and in your booklet you will see. it's nearly impossible to get the oil out of the marsh. so that was his statement. and then i assume if he didn't help me clean it up after he gets his marsh, there's no plan to keep it out. and that's when we went to work with our partners and our ocean boomed plan that we presented the numerous coast guard people, numerous bp people and fell on deaf ears. >> is that a fair assumption? >> which assumption is that, sir? >> that you are not going to keep the oil out of the marshes of? >> no, sir. and oil spill response doctrine, the number one thing to do is the number one priority is to secure the source.
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we couldn't do that immediately, obvious it. so the second priority is to remove oil, free floating oil from the surface of the water. to prevent it from going into the marsh. and we used many strategies and tactics to do that come chiefly among them mechanical recovery dispersants and burning. however, as commissioner reilly points out, that's minimally effective. and when you have a spill, a discharge of this rate and this size, the impacts are potentially enormous. we did meet with the parish presidents, or the representatives at the incident command post and did solicit their input for boom strategies. i remember distinctly meeting with president don gasser -- president nungesser and putting boom along the eastern side,
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western side of southwest pass and discussing various other strategies. the extent to which we were able to successfully carry out those plans, i think, was, you know, i was dissatisfied with. i remember on may 25 taking a flight with the governor and being somewhat upset at the fact that much of what we had discussed have not been implemented. i believe i had a rather heated discussion on a teleconference that evening. mr. suttles, you may remember it. i think the secretary of the interior was there. i remember distinctly coming back from the meeting with mr. nungesser and the president on may 2, and meeting with the incident command, unified command at the incident command post in houma, and directing that we triple our efforts to obtain boom. i mentioned lift boats, directed
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the creation of forward operating bases fusing lift boats. i directed bp to obtain at least 30 of them and to position them at various strategic locations so that they could be utilized in the boom and shoreline protection strategies. i directed my experts on coming to lay 58,000 feet of boom along the breton sound side of the biloxi marsh, and that indie, those were set, that booming when i left was under way. that was all federal national strikeforce boom. i do agree with the president, once again, that one of my frustrations was a lack of large ocean boomed -- boom, and the difficulty of protecting those big passes, the passes into the days which are the access point into a lot of the interior or marsh.
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very difficult because the tide will change, the kurds are very severe. so it's a challenging job. i'm somewhere with most of the coastline, at least east of the river. having fish a lot of it myself. and for instance, the entrance into the lake, i understood full well the sensitivity of getting oil into the lake. and eventually we put barges there. the strategy developed by the parish was to put an 18-inch boom across perpendicular to the current across highway 90 bridge at the lake. and i discussed that strategy with the president, or his representative, his operations officer or can i suggested why do we send some folks down there to help you out? because clooney, that strategy had been completely would have failed completely. you know, i was highly
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sensitive, too. and determined to protect the marshes. i understand how significant and sensitive they are. if you look at the coast of louisiana, there's almost 7000 miles of shoreline, counting all the promulgation's and i was. we, at the direction of the state, dnr, as well as the federal trustees, which i've significant members. i had the acting director of the fish and wildlife service in my command post, as well as many experts. and we encircled many islands which were identified to us as significant burden of refineries. very, very early on. so to say that we did not attempt to protect the marshes, i realized it's a tempting thing
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to say that we sorely been protected completely. >> thanks. >> but it's not because of lack of effort. >> mr. nungesser, just tell us again, was the parish, your parish, ever asked to participate in response planning activities associated with this spill? >> not planning. we attended every meeting we were invited to. we tried to exercise and get more participation out on the water. i spend everyday out on the water early on. if you remember those pictures when we bagged, helped, that oil sat there for over three weeks. even after the governor went out twice, and a third trip with anderson cooper and the governor, the oil was still there. and that's when we start a started taking shots ask out of people's garages and started sucking up oil. >> but did --
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>> no, we were not. >> you were not invited to any planning exercise prior to this spill? >> no. we were told the coast guard and our office could make decisions. and he even grew frustrated same order the boom, and it never got delivered. it never got ordered. so, no. >> okay. but they make sure i understood that. the planning exercises that were conducted by the coast guard and the other agencies, your parish was never invited prior to this spill to participate in planning exercises come is that what you're saying? >> not as long as i've been parish president, no. >> just for the record, you became parish president on what date? >> about four years ago. >> commissioner reilly? >> captain stanton, governor jindal has been very critical of the federal response. and i would be interested in your characterization of the
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relationship of the governor's office in louisiana, and our recommendations come if you care to make any, on how to improve federal state relations and avert a situation like that any future. >> i always thought our relationship with the governor's office was fairly good. in fact, the coast guard and i out in particular have worked with the governors office all on oil spill coordination in the name, on the person of mr. roland gantry and his staff for many, many years. i served as a co-chair of federal regional response teams six for several years when i was stationed in the eighth district, and came to know the states and their oil spill response organizations fairly well. it disturbing that in the middle of this spill, the governor relieved the people with whom we had always worked, literally, for decades. of their duties as oil spill
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coordinator. i met with the governor a couple of times. we communicated well. i understand, full well, his frustration at the fact that there was, in his perception, and i think it's a true perception, perhaps not as much response resource available. the logistics of managing a shoreline protection and response strategy for the amount of shoreline, and literally the louisiana coast, if you want to look at it is all sensitive shoreline. we have environmental sensitivity and was that we used to choose and direct our limited resources to the best purpose. but i understand the governor's frustration, and i don't -- i would feel the same way. i would be just as passionate about my people in my coastline as the governor, and as president nungesser. and if i were in their position, i would feel just as passionate about it. >> but you didn't feel that you were in any way implicated are responsible for some of the
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decisions not been made in a timeframe that he expected? >> i feel very responsible for my time period there, and i feel very responsible for doing the very best. everybody in the federal response system, and everybody in the responsible party community, and everybody in -- you know, to making sure that they do the very best they can come and that every effort went into this response. >> but when you say you understood his anger or distress, is there a recommended reform that you would suggest with regard to of earning a type of disappointment on the part of the governor in the future, should you need more structured relationships? is it a failure simply that there was inadequate equipment available, and neither you could do anything about it? >> that's one part of it. we have the unfortunate luxury in louisiana of responding quite often to oil spills.
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in fact, a month before -- it's just the nature of bps. it's not a criticism of louisiana. there's a lot of oil production, and exploration activity to pick and there's a lot of pipelines. sometimes we have leaks from them. a month before this response we had an 18,000-gallon crude oil spill from a pipeline of the middle of the delta national wildlife refuge. and we and the state responded to that with responsible party, cleaned it up well, and went on about our business without any commentary from the governor or the parish. earlier in the year we had had a 65,000-gallon spill from a pipeline offshore, and were able to clean that up with the same function. so we work almost on a daily basis, at least a monthly basis,
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with the oil spill response entities in louisiana. and over the years, because of that, we have developed a close and very effective working relationship. however, we have never dealt with a spill of this site before, and it's quite natural that the leadership of the state and the leadership of the nation would want to get involved in this. you know, the scope, the size, the magnitude of this was enormous. so the governor exercising more direct presence is something that seemed quite natural to me. and at every turn i attempted to give the governor what he wanted. >> thank you. mr. suttles, a number of have comment on the inadequate the of the technology response year and the fact that it is not evolved over the years. and we first got involved a few months ago, i had expectations that we would see significant events -- advances in the design of some of those technology.
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i get the impression there's been a great deal of attention on the part of bp and the four other companies that have now joined in this, this containment enterprise, toward a whole range of responses. but that a lot of attention and thus far have really gone into prevention containment, remote sensing, some of the things you have mentioned. and i've not been given so much encouragement to believe that we are really going to get a breakthrough on skimmer design, for example. that people just don't seem to have the ideas or an open ocean, highways, it's an insurmountable problem. could you shed some light on that, and make some suggestions about where money might be deployed to actually really get us the kind of breakthrough that seems to be we need? >> yes, i would. i mean, when we look at response technologies, the ability once oil is on water to clean it up, and clean it up effectively, i think one of the things we learn
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in this spill and admiral allen spoke to as well, if we didn't have a continuous sea of oil out there. we have blotches of oil right across the gulf of mexico. in fact, it was something like 17,000 square miles. one of the biggest challenges was actually putting their resources where the oil was, no one what kind of oil we had. so this sensing technology is very important. and is something we need to advance. because you have a great many scammers, but if you can't put them where the oil is, they can't be effective. so that should continue. we did do some work quite late in this spill with combining the very latest boom technology and very latest skimming technology on the very latest vessels. in the industry, in the oil and industry. to see if we could develop a more effective schema. unfortunately, those systems were developed at the very end of this spill. in fact, they still right at the time were able to contain the spill from the oil.
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burning is another area. very effective tool. requires very calm sea states. this was a skill that he was unprecedented. we learned how to do it very effectively with current technologies, but it would be important to see if that could be extended into more different whether that i think in each of these areas, as i said oh, i think this is an area where the norwegians have continued to put effort in, and it has resulted in better equipment and we should continue to do that. >> do you see better equipment in the north sea? >> well, what we found, some of the boom and some of the skimmer technologies that's already been referred to, there's work that's been done, and i think it shows that with investment and putting some of the brightest people on a company can be very effective. . .
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we had someone near 300,000 responders on his beaches, beaches used by tourists, and the conflict created by the responders and the tourists was a problem. every night, they cleaned the beach, the bottle caps and the cigarette butts and all of these things off the beaches. if you need to use our machines, you can at night. we now have a purpose-built machine to clean oil off the beaches. we need to find them and test them and scale them up rapidly. >> we continue to hear that the regulatory system in norway is superior. is that your sense, chief safety officer and the whole series of controls that they have an advance agreements on process?
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>> i am not the easier it is to pick out one system in its entirety and say which one is better. but the offshore industry has been regulated in different regions of the world. i think we should study that and determine what we think is working best and how to apply it as we look at how to make sure an event like this cannot happen again. again. >> in your experience, is getting approvals in norway more rigorous than it has been in the gulf? >> i don't think so actually. i think -- you know, i think there are different frameworks you work in these places and the regulators ask for different things. they typically are in the same areas of interest. but they perform those duties differently but i don't -- i don't sense that at all. >> thank you. >> i have three areas of alleys. -- questions. one follows up on mr. garcia's
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questions about did the oil flow rates affect any decisions. you indicated no. but we've heard from some other sources that, for instance, the early efforts at containment such as -- i think it was called top hat was designed for the oil flow that had been stated, which was roughly 1,000 to 5,000 as opposed to the 35 to 60,000 that was later determined. and that had it been designed for that larger flow might have been successful. are you aware of any efforts at containment which were predicated on the limited oil flows originally estimated and where that estimate was a factor in their failure? >> there was a very, very large technical team, you know, which came together not only from bp but from the oil and gas service
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companies and also other oil and gas companies and the federal government. so i'm not familiar with all of the details, the technical details of what happened in that team. so i actually don't know if they're deep inside of those teams, those concerns might have been there. we were all working off of what would be a series of contingency that would be -- the situation we had on the seabed was very difficult particularly at the beginning when we had oil coming out of multiple locations and trying to contain it. we also knew that the hydrates were going to be a major issue. and a major problem. and, in fact, the first solution to contain the oil was the containment dome, the cofferdam and it failed because of the severity of the hydrate problem. we learned from each of those. but i would also say that we weren't reliant on a single solution. so i believe the -- what was referred to as the capping
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stack, the final solution, was developed in the very early days. somewhere around day 4, 5 or 6 was when that concept was originally birthed and it was progressed and ultimately was what allowed us to bring it in. so i think the information continued to come in. we continued to learn more, but i don't have any direct knowledge whether that caused any of these to fail. >> captain, do you have any information relative to the degree to which the initial containment efforts were predicated on the original estimates of flow? >> no, sir. my specific task really had to do with not with source control. that was all being run out of houston. and i had no input or knowledge of the planning that went on there. >> who in the federal government would have been aware of whether there was a relationship between the amount of oil flow and the
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various techniques that were considered for containment? >> well, there was a coast guard commander and i unfortunately cannot remember his name. he came from the national strike force and was at the command post at houston. and he probably would have been involved or at least party to many of those discussions, sir. >> mr. suttles, you in listing one of your recommendations one of them was containment capabilities needed to be enhanced. as i understand, when you or transocean or whoever applied for the permit to drill in this particular area, one of the requirements of that that permit was a representation that there was the ability to respond to any accident or other negative event.
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could you describe for me what was that representation. and who made it? >> when you actually apply for an exploration permit in a permit to drill, you have to reference your oil spill response plan, which you you submit. i believe it's every two years. that can be verified. and it has to actually be approved by what at the time was the minerals management service. so what you do is your permit application stipulates the type of well you're going to directly. >> now, was bp the permit applicant? >> yes. >> and could you describe -- what was the representation that you made relative to your ability to respond? >> well, what -- and i'm not and should be clear -- i'm not was involved in the creation of the bp's oil spill response plan. that was inside of our gulf of mexico operations unit that does that.
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i'm not personally familiar with the history of that but i'm familiar with the plan we used to respond. >> so you're the chief operating officer for exploration and production but you're not -- you were not involved in the response plan that was submitted as part of your permit application? >> my duties actually are global. and in this particular case, that response plan is followed by our gulf of mexico business. >> if that response was made and then you say one of your recommendations was that containment capabilities needed to be enhanced, what was the cause at the time of the application for permit that there was a gap between what you represented you would do and what your capabilities, in fact, allowed you to do? >> well, i think a number of people have commented on the ability of the industry to respond to a spill like this, to
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a well control like this in 5,000 feet of water. and when they looked at the systems and the practices that were in place on and before the 20th of april and clearly from what we had to do during this response, we had to develop a great many things to be able to respond to it. it's hard for me to go back in time and understand what people were thinking at the time. what we actually used when this event happened were containment capabilities. first of all, that were built in at the -- into the safety system such as trying to activate the blowout preventer from the seabed and other things. and these are clearly in there and they're referenced at a high level in the spill response plan. but i don't think what it had been fully envisaged was a well that continued to flow for weeks on end. at significant rates that you had to find a way to contain that oil until ultimately you could get a relief well to stop the flow permanently.
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now, we've now built that capability. we've built what we call open systems, which don't have a seal but capture a great deal of the oil and we built sealing systems and we've proven they worked. they will be available immediately. and in addition to working with the four other companies we'll be working on systems that could be called out in a more permanent sense, in a more sophisticated sense than the ones we've built here. >> would it be your estimate that the other ongoing drilling platforms in the deep water of the gulf that are the responsibility of bp, are they better prepared today to respond to a situation analogous to that that occurred on april 20th than they were on april the 19th? >> i think today the -- both bp and the industry's response capabilities are significantly improved over the april the 20th. whether that is now proving that we can contain flow or actually
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intercept a deep water well successfully, in addition, the capabilities we built in response, so whether that's accumulating almost 5 million feet when we started with considerably less than that at the beginning of this spill or whether those are the technologies that have been developed or the beach-cleaning equipment. and all of that capability is there today. and it's significantly greater than what existed on the 20th. and we made a commitment to share that capability with the industry. and not just the equipment but the know how, and the expertise that's come with it. >> do you think that now your company can live up to the -- to the permit representations that it made as to its ability to respond? >> well, i think what's been clear is we have had demonstrated we can contain control flow both in open and closed systems and we could
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successful drill a relief well. what we need to do is see is how adaptable across all the gulf of mexico and make sure those capabilities are available for all of those situations. >> how many wells is bp responsible for in the gulf that are at more than 1,000 feet? >> i'd have to get back to you. i don't have that number. in memory at the moment. >> i'd be interested in knowing how many -- what they are, what your representations were relative to your ability to respond to an accident and what now you think your capabilities are to deliver on that representation? >> yeah. chairman graham, i should say that working with director braumwitch, what we are doing is doing a new spill response plan. of course, they'll lay out the guidelines and the response for
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that plan but we're in the process of taking what we've learned in this spill response and embedding it in a new spill response plan. and have committed to the director and his team to work closely with them as we do that. clearly, the plan will have to meet their requirements. but what we're trying to do is make sure that we convert this and put it in the spill response plan in the future and that is being done as we speak. >> one last question, captain, you talked about some of the oil spills that have occurred in the time period immediately prior to april the 20th. i think you used one example that was a 65,000-gallon spill. it seems to me that one of our realities is that we're using the phrase "oil spill" to occur -- to apply to events which, in fact, are quite different. i mean, a 65,000-gallon spill in a relatively contained area, was
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this a shallow or deep water? >> 65,000-gallon spill and i agree with you 65,000 gallons compared to this particular spill we're discussing -- it's a pittance. it was offshore. it was 60 miles offshore in the gulf but not from a deep water facility. i believe it was from a pipeline. >> one of the things that we don't need to do in terms of thinking about response including how you organize for a response is to categorize based on the scale, the duration of the event, other relevant factors and that there would be not a single response protocol to every spill but different protocols based on those differences -- >> oh, i would agree, sir. every spill in my mind and in my
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experience is based on the type of the oil spill, the weather conditions, the environment at the time, its proximity to sensitive environments. absolutely. you're actually right. -- totally right. my only point in saying that is that we exercise quite frequently with state organizations involved in spill response so in terms of having exercises and planning, unfortunately, we have plenty of experience working with the state offices. and the organizations involved in the spill response in louisiana. so we're quite familiar with those people. they're quite familiar with us. they're quite familiar with our plans and we with theirs. that was my only point. we get to do this a lot. that's one of the reasons perhaps i was sent to new orleans. >> yeah. and my only point was that what you do a lot is -- at dramatically different levels of intensity. >> absolutely. >> is there any other questions?
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